tv [untitled] March 1, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm PST
i talked to 12 days ago on venice beach. they give out medical cards for $10. it is easy to get access. you arewe are fooling ourselvest these kids are not going to get in there. lastly, i want to go back to these college kids. these kids hang around on the block, on the side alley. these benches are there. the smoke cigarettes. there are hundreds of these kids all day, hanging out there. they are 18 and older, but i am concerned about our youth in san francisco. these medical cards are so available. these kids are going to be able to have such easy access. to me, it is like cracking a beer and giving it to them. we say "do not drink that." is that available. why should we do that for our youth in san francisco, and have
it so close to such a large school? thank you very much for all of your time. president fong: is there additional public comment on this item? commissioner miguel: i am not going to bore anyone with my usual comments on the laws regarding medical cannabis. but there was a comment early on that there was the thought that this leads to crime and polite. -- and blight. it is a comment we have heard many times. no one, including the police department, has ever brought before this commission any factual evidence of that statement. therefore i have to disagree with you. it has not been proven. if any of you who have spoken today or anyone else can actually bring some facts to us and not just words, i believe
certainly i and the rest of the commissioners would consider actual facts. statistics. some evidence of the statements to make. we did not -- this commission did not define what a school is, primary or secondary. that was not up to us. we have to abide by those definitions. nothing that has been brought to us on this or the other issues on medical cannabis dispensaries have had any import to those on the board of supervisors who make those decisions. we still have to abide by it. this is the wrong body to bring it to, changing definitions.
it is not up to us. the fact that immaculate conception has students that work in businesses it is fantastic. that is what high schools, in my mind, should do and do not. however, it is not a high school campus, and therefore it does not fall in the definition. there is nothing we can do about it. the fact that the economy are is there -- academy art is there and many students are young -- it is not a primary or secondary school. there is nothing we can do about it. i want to express to you that our reasons to deny in this or many other instances are very, very, very small. i do not find the arguments presented to me to fall within the legal requirements i would
need to deny this permit. commissioner antonini: i agree with commissioner mighel. -- mighel. -- miguel. we do have discretion and can vote no. i view these as pharmacies. because of conflict between federal and local laws, we are not able to have state-run pharmacies to dispense medical cannabis, as should be the case, or pharmacies in general. but i use it as an analogous situation. if you go into a pharmacy and have a prescription for a drug that is move or performance altering, you usually get your prescription and safely get home, and then take your prescription in a safe place. you do not take your
prescription at the pharmacy and then go out and try to perform either driving or other things while you are under the influence of a drug. i do not know any reason why a patient cannot get a large enough supply to take care of them for a day or two days, or whatever time it is until they can get back and get the next supply. i do not see any reason why anyone has to consume the drug on site, be it smoked, vaporized, or interested. i do not agree with that and have never voted for any of the dispensaries that allow on-site consumption of the medical cannabis. a couple other reasons have been brought up about the school nearby and things like that. but technically these do not fit the definition. that are not primary or secondary schools, which are the ones that are prohibited within 1,000 feet. technically, it does not fit
that requirement. however, i know clustering is not something we are supposed to look at. i got a map staff sent us. i counted 12 dispensaries in district 6. that was only part of district 6. it does not even show the area closer to where this is. there are probably even more. the case was made a few weeks ago, when we were asked to approve an and cd -- an mcd in the outer excelsior district. there were a couple of miles between that and the nearest existing site. you could make a case it is difficult for anyone to travel and long distance to get medication, particularly people who may be elderly or have problems with mobility, or problems with someone getting medication for them. there was an instance where i supported that and there was no on-site consumption.
i do not see the need to have another dispensary with this many dispensaries in close proximity to this one. those are my reasons i would like to take discretionary review and deny. i will see what the other commissioners have to say. commissioner borden: i think this is interesting. i would love to talk to staff about what the policy says around vaporizing versus not vaporizing. i do not know if the code has anything in that that you could eliminate us on, regarding discretion in that point. i think there is a difference between vaporizing and not vaporizing. at the same time, i want to understand better what our discretion is in that space. if you take away the vaporization, the bigger issue is not exceptional or extraordinary. the location is not exceptional
or extraordinary. with the are you the vaporization is, but the location itself is not. -- we could argue the vaporization is, but the localization is not. being silent on the point about the vaporization, i spend a lot of time on this block. the red cross -- the red cross, where i volunteer, is right across the street. the killing and cravaack issues have been primarily -- cueing and traffic issues have been primarily around academy of art. if people are vapor rising, i would hope they are not than driving a car. i would think that would not be wise. i would like to get feedback about vaporization. i do not know how many other medical marijuana dispensaries
allow vaporization. maybe you could provide insight on that. commissioner moore: i am not concerned about the mcd being here. the issue of clustering is still out of our hands. we have repeatedly encouraged the board to engage with us in a policy discussion about clustering being somewhat undesirable. at the same time, i am concerned about our consistency in 628 approvals were vaporization was not an issue. -- 6 to 8 approvals where vaporization was not an issue. i will support the mcd, but only without vaporization. i want to be clear about that. vice president wu: i also have questions for staff around the vaporization, and specifically whether or not it requires ventilation.
secondly, on the issue of the windows -- if the windows can only be obscured 25%, is there any requirement that the vaporization is not visible from the street? is that in conflict with one another? >> commissioners, i can respond to some of your questions. one of the criteria in the planning code, as you know, is whether or not there will be smoking on the premises. the primary concern is the ventilation required. i do not know the details of the difference between ventilation -- between vaporization and smoking. i think he should treat them as the same as far as requirements for until the station. -- fort ventilation. perhaps the sponsor can address this. as far as a court -- as project
with requests to smoke or vaporize on site, most do not make that request. commissioner sugaya: commissioner wu, did you get your questions answered? vice president wu: the transparency. >> we see this as a vacant retail space. we do not want permanent alterations to the building. we want it to continue to be primarily transparent. the plans show an interior vestibule area, from which people would enter. perhaps the sponsor could address this. the vaporizing would take place further in the back of the floor plan. i do not see that as being in conflict. our main concern is that they're not the floor to ceiling curtains drawn, applied to the windows so it is obscured. commissioner sugaya: i think the commission, as long as i have sat on it, have dealt with -- the issues that keep coming up some fairly regular.
we always have the same kind of answer. i think if we wanted to somehow ask the board -- i do not know if they are ready to take up the subject again. looking at the whole issue of where mcd's should be located, the distances between dispensaries, the distances to certain particular uses, expanding the kinds of uses or diminishing numbers or types -- that whole issue seems to be something that we might want to ask someone on the board, maybe through president chiu, to take up as an issue. i think it would extend also to
things like the kinds of security that should be required, whether or not any kind of vaporization, smoking, or consumption would be allowed on site, following commissioner antonini's analogy with a pharmacy -- i guess you could take a pill on the way out. there are a host of issues like that which could be taken up again by the board. i am not saying that we should -- it is not part of the motion. but i think it commissioners are in agreement we might have staff draft something up expressing our concern and recommendation. commissioner moore: these concerns, in support for commissioner sugaya, are coming into focus. we are still observing the federal government cracking down on existing mcd's.
we are permitting, but simultaneously there is still a push back from the federal government. the state itself, at this moment, is actually taking the point that the justice .wr? so we are approving and then something gets closed. we are approving again. i had that conversation with the supervisors' office, looking for guidance in a district with a high number of mcd's. she did not comment on that issue. but i reminded her we would like some time to open up the discussion on a larger policy. it is not good that we're promoting discretionary applications here, simultaneously knowing it is going to be closedi just want ta
thought. assembly member amiano is working on legislation defining what else could be described to protect or more clearly understand mcd's and the protection of mcd's. i am not sure i fully understand the legislation. the property addresses itself more to the push back from small towns. he says there should be one mcd for every 50,000 people. i am not sure if that has any bearing to what we are doing in san francisco. the other thing i wanted to raise -- the majority of mcd's we have approved have security bars, mostly on the outside,
which gives the appearance of a somewhat more foreboding use inside. i was wondering about perhaps asking whether or not the was an issue in the discussion here. >> commissioner moore, as i said before, i think we like this retail space the way it is. we did not feel there was a security concern serious enough to warrant additional treatment. we would not support the bars. commissioner antonini: again, on the issue of clustering, the fact that there are so many mcd's in a relatively small area -- given for the moment the premise we want medical cannabis for patients who have medical
reasons to use them, it is alarming to see there is such a concentration. either we have an awful lot of people in a small area with very serious medical problems that have to be that close to an mcd, or some of the uses may not be exactly what is prescribed. but that is something we cannot really -- that is not our place to take care of that. i think some sort of discussion by the board of supervisors, i would support. other jurisdictions are a little bit more judicious about how many mcd's they have, how far apart they are, and try to be reasonable based on the assumption of how many people within a jurisdiction would have to avail themselves of it, and what is a realistic distance for them to expect to travel. the biggest part of this -- i do not know if i will get a second.
on-site consumption does not work for me. if we did approve one with on- site consumption, it was quite a long time ago. almost every emceed the that has come up to us -- almost every mcd has come up to was saying they do not allow consumption on site. i am going to move to take d.r. and disapprove. >> in the absence of a second, the motion dies. is there an alternate motion? commissioner moore: the alternate motion is to approve with the condition that onside vaporizing and consumption will not be permitted. smoking, vaporizing, and other forms of consumption. commissioner sugaya: second. commissioner miguel: i would support that. in looking at the plans, in
considering them in light of department comments, i think we should very definitely include an emphasis has to department conditions. the way i am looking at it, the frontage on both sides shows fabric curtains, single-way mirrors, which i presume is to look out at the street and not be allowed to look in -- it is to totally sealed it off, totally against what a retail establishment should look like in a retail area. and i want to emphasize the department recommendations in that regard. it should not be a sealed off area whatsoever.
i think that is the way the department views it as well. certainly, there should not be any consumption on site. i see no medical reason for consumption on site. i agree with the comments that were made earlier, whether the medical cards could be obtained by anyone by asking and paying a very minimal charge to those who issued them. and yet i know a number of people who use, because of medical reasons, cannabis very effectively. i have nothing against its proper use. i think to my experience the nonmedical use of medical cards is far, far exceeding the
actual need use, but that is to the personal comment. i would support it, but with definite emphasis as to the department recommendations to keep the openness of this location. commissioner sugaya: the motion implied that the department considerations would definitely be upheld. commissioner miguel: and the plans do not even show a vaporizing space, by the way. there is nothing i see them -- see in them that shows any treatment space. commissioner borden: i support what has been said. i think the issue around neighborhoods that have issues with drugs and illegal people on the street -- the honest truth is anybody who went to school in america has never had a shortage of interaction with marijuana being available. it is just the reality.
that is a truthful thing. i do not condone people giving medical cards improperly, but it is better, in terms of crime and other social ills. my comment would be to look at the apothecary on market street. that is a good example of an mcd that looks like a store. when you look in the window -- the last time i walked through that location, i had no idea if it was a marijuana dispensary. it is a welcoming, inviting, attractive addition to the neighborhood block. you would have no reason to know what exactly it was unless you were seeking about. -- it out. >> just a reminder -- most of you remember this, i am sure. but president olague last july did send a letter to the board
aligning these concerns and asking for a revaluation. commissioner moore: could we resent that? commissioner miguel: remind her of that. president fong: now that she is supervisor. commissioner antonini: i think what commissioner miguel said is we have not had direct testimony of law enforcement that they believe there is an increase in crime in areas because there is medical marijuana dispensers. i think anybody who is a realist must acknowledge there is a certain amount of use that is not for medical reasons. obviously. if we have this many dispensaries, it is kind of chicken or egg. do we have people spending a lot of their day consuming marijuana for recreational reasons, and therefore we have
so many dispensaries? or are we bringing in more people who maybe are using it in this manner? i am not really sure what the answer is. it is something we should look at down the line. commissioner miguel: that reminds me of the argument that always comes up in front of us. the more parking spaces we provide, the more cars there are. president fong: i think i have voted to approve previous dispensaries before us. i am never going to get in between the lifestyle choices of anybody. in this area, we have a number of schools with younger people. kaplan is probably outside of that radius. it also serves high school kids trying to take the s.a.t. and prep tests. the motion on the floor is to
approve without vaporization. i am going to vote no, solely to get attention to the supervisors to look at updating the radiuses, the type of use, and the clustering. those are my comments. >> mr. president, want me to call the question? on the motion before you to take discretionary review and approve the project, with the idea that vaporization not be allowed on site and that the staff recommendations be part of the approval process -- commissioner moore: could you add the words smoking to that? it is smoking, vaporization, and a consumption. >> ok. a smoking, vaporization, and
consumption should not be allowed on site. staff recommendation for approval with conditions would be in that motion. commissioner antonini: no. president fong: did you have a comment or clarification? >> i would like a piece of clarification on the motion. the prohibition against consumption -- i assume that includes food as well? >> that is correct. commissioner sugaya: it is not a prohibition on selling them. right? >> again, the motion. commissioner antonini: no. commissioner sugaya: aye. commissioner moore: aye. commissioner miguel: aye. vice president wu: aye. president fong: no. >> the motion passed 5-2. commissioners, you are now at general public comment, where